- The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation - http://blog.heritage.org -
Obamacare's Delusional Deficit Reduction Claims
Posted By Kathryn Nix On March 19, 2010 @ 2:37 pm In Obamacare | Comments Disabled
Congressional leaders are gleefully reporting that the Congressional Budget Office score of their health care proposal released yesterday shows that their legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $138 billion in the first ten years. Not so fast —consummate professionals though they are, CBO provides a projection based on assumptions about the future conduct of Congress that do not always represent reality.
Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, not exactly a supporter of the GOP, puts it this way:  “…Democrats will be pointing to this preliminary CBO score as if it is engraved on stone tablets. Republicans will proclaim their respect for the CBO and proceed to argue that its estimates should not be taken too seriously in this instance. This may come as a surprise, but I think the Republican argument is closer to correct. To crow, as did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that the package is “a triumph for the American people in terms of deficit reduction” is premature at best, delusional at worst.”
The reasons to expect wide discrepancies between the actual and projected cost of the bill lie in the gimmicks employed within the language of the bill to make it score as less expensive than it actually is. Included are the usual suspects we have seen time and again, including:
The reconciliation package also includes new gimmicks and questionable sources of revenue:
Though the White House and congressional leadership continue the charade of fiscal responsibility, the American people and other members of Congress, including Democrats, have long caught on. David Herzenhorn of the New York Times notes that even among Congressional Democrats, the cost impact of the legislation remains a deep and abiding concern: 
“But even some lawmakers who voted for the Senate bill have been calling in recent weeks for additional steps to be taken to guarantee that new spending will not spiral out of control. They also want to ensure that Congress will follow through on proposed cuts, especially reductions to slow the growth of Medicare.
Many experts have warned that members Congress may not have the stomach to carry out the proposed cuts in the future. In January, five Democratic senators, including Michael Bennet of Colorado and Mark Warner of Virginia, sent a letter to the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, urging him to include a “fail-safe” mechanism in the final bill  that would result in cuts if spending were to exceed estimates.”
Blue Dog Democrats’ lingering suspicions regarding this bill’s spending spree are justified. Only in Washington is massive spending incorrectly attributed as the way to control costs. The American people have shown in poll after poll  that they clearly understand this, even as the ideologically driven Congressional leadership refuses to listen to them.
Vivek Rajasekhar contributed to this post.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/03/19/obamacares-delusional-deficit-reduction-claims/
URLs in this post:
 Not so fast: http://www.foundry.org/2010/03/18/obamacare-will-break-the-bank-not-cut-the-deficit/
 Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, not exactly a supporter of the GOP, puts it this way:: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/18/AR2010031803558_pf.html
 David Herzenhorn of the New York Times notes that even among Congressional Democrats, the cost impact of the legislation remains a deep and abiding concern:: http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/for-many-house-democrats-cost-is-the-concern/?pagemode=print
 urging him to include a “fail-safe” mechanism in the final bill: https://email.heritage.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/senators-urge-fail-safe-provision-if-savings-dont-appear/
 poll after poll: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health_care_plan-1130.html
Copyright © 2011 The Heritage Foundation. All rights reserved.